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Gilgamesh: Bulls and Doorways BY: Schea, Mallory and Natalie.

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Presentation on theme: "Gilgamesh: Bulls and Doorways BY: Schea, Mallory and Natalie."— Presentation transcript:

1 Gilgamesh: Bulls and Doorways BY: Schea, Mallory and Natalie

2 What are some connotations you think of when you hear “bulls” or “doorways”?  Bull  Strong  Temperamental  Powerful  Huge  anger  Doorways  Journey  Beginnings  passage

3 Bulls  “Like bulls bellowing” (pg. 23)  When Gilgamesh and Enkidu first meet they fight one another. They are compared to bellowing bulls which could be foreshadowing the future fight the two will encounter with the Bull of Heaven.  Bull of Heaven – Gilgamesh and Enkidu fight the bull of heaven who was sent from the gods. (pg. 44, 45)  Ishtar, the goddess of love, fruitfulness, and war becomes enraged when Gilgamesh insults her and calls her deceptive. After conversing with her father, Anu, she sends the Bull of Heaven down to punish Gilgamesh and Enkidu. The two men kill the bull and Gilgamesh hurls a piece of the bulls thigh, which he tore off, at Ishtar who then withdraws among the prostitutes.

4  Anytime there is a bull in the story it is not to represent a positive thing.  The first time a bull appears marks the beginning of a friendship between Gilgamesh and Enkidu, but only after they have a vicious fight and are compared to “bellowing bulls”.  The second time a bull appears marks the beginning of Gilgamesh’s quest to bring back his friend from the dead, because Enkidu dies shortly after the fight with the Bull of Heaven from injuries he sustained from battling Humbaba and touching the gate into the cedar (Humbaba’s) forest.

5 Historical significance of bulls  In western societies today bulls in literature are most recognized from:  The Bible: the golden calf after being made by the Hebrew people in the wilderness of Sinai, was rejected and destroyed by Moses and his tribe  The constellation Taurus: the Egyptians: the constellation Taurus was a sacred bull that was associated with the renewal of life in spring The Greeks:Taurus was identified with Zeus, who formed a magnificent white bull to abduct Europa, a legendary Phoenician princess.

6 The power of the gods  Bull’s throughout history have been associated with religion, heaven, and gods.  The bull of heaven represents the power of the gods in “Gilgamesh”. The bull of heaven is sent out and causes drought and death, killing 300 men This wrath of the bull depicts the gods as heartless beings of power who don’t care.  killing of the Bull of Heaven by Gilgamesh and Enkidu is depicted as an act of defiance of the gods.  After Gilgamesh kills the bull Enkidu spurns Ishtar showing his defiance, hurling a piece of the bull’s thigh back in her face. haha

7 Journey of becoming a man  Gilgamesh and Enkidu are compared as “bellowing bulls”.  Enkidu in the beginning is described as a hairy animal.  Gilgamesh has an animalistic personality because he is selfish and arrogant Ex.) he requires to sleep with virgins about to be married before their husbands  We see Enkidu’s transformation in the beginning of the book.  The prostitute sleeps with him, making him feel shame  Gilgamesh’s transformation takes the whole book as we see a change in his personality.  He becomes caring for Enkidu and goes to great lengths to bring him back  He for the first time understands the feeling of loss

8 Journeys There are many journeys in the Epic Gilgamesh that guide the reader through lessons that the characters encounter.  A main theme in Gilgamesh is the journey to Becoming Human.  Enkidu and Gilgamesh’s journey into the forest.  Gilgamesh’s journey to becoming selfless and a devoted king. The doorways and gates in Gilgamesh guide the readers, plot, and characters through a series of transitions in their lives.

9  On page 16, Enkidu is seen opening a trap to let an animal out. It is the beginning of the end of Enkidu’s time as an animal. A human has seen him and starts the Enkidu’s journey to becoming human.  Page 23 Enkidu blocks Gilgamesh’s path into the house. It is the first doorway that Enkidu and Gilgamesh encounter together. At their first meeting Enkidu is starting Gilgamesh on his journey to be a less selfish by keeping Gilgamesh from disrespecting another mans, soon to be, wife. He is keeping Gilgamesh from selfishly using his people.  As they enter the forest Enkidu touches the gate, as his hand goes numb. It is the beginning of the end of his life. From here on, he is in pain which is why he gets hurt by Humbaba, then gets fatally wounded by the Bull of Heaven. In his death, Endiku acknowledges, as well as curses, the different doorways that brought him to his death

10  Gilgamesh arrives at the gates of the mountains of Mashu. They too, have guards making the reader think of the gates into the cedar forest. The effects of the forest change Endiku's life more profoundly than the other passages. It is the prelude to the last half of Gilgamesh's journey to becoming less selfish.  Gilgamesh enters into the house of the barmaid. Here, she takes care of him. We see a shift in his animalistic personality into becoming human when he finally refuses her and wants to bathe away every "pleasureful touch."  Gilgamesh enters into the city. It signals the end of his journey. He is now a devoted king, that now acts human and has realized that people die and he needs to get over it.

11  Endiku became human, then died.  Gilgamesh left his savage, selfish, animalistic ways and became a devoted king.

12 CItations  "Bull Symbols and Bull Meanings." What's Your Sign? Discover the World of Signs and Symbolic Meanings. Web. 05 Oct. 2011..  "Cattle: Cow, Bull & Calf." Home Page. Web. 05 Oct. 2011..  Mason, Herbert. Gilgamesh: a Verse Narrative. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2003. Print.  SparkNotes: Today's Most Popular Study Guides. Web. 06 Oct. 2011..

13 Prepared questions  Is there a connection between the “bulls” and the “doorways”?  What have “bulls” or “doorways” represented in the past or present?  What do you think is the purpose of making a doorway into the Humbaba forest?  Why is it a “bull” of Heaven, instead of another creature?


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